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2025 Oscar Predictions: Steve McQueen (“Blitz”) Leading Best Director Contender

More than 1,400 people have already predicted the Oscar nominations as of this writing, and the prison drama “Sing Sing” is emerging as the early front-runner for Best Picture. However, Greg Kwedar, the mastermind behind “Sing Sing,” ranks fifth in the Best Director category. Instead, the early favorite for this coveted prize is Steve McQueen for his film “Blitz.”

“Blitz” hasn’t yet been seen by critics or audiences, but its distributor and scheduling look very promising. It’s backed by Apple Original Films, the studio responsible for the Best Picture winner “CODA” and the nominee “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The film is set to premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on October 9, with a theatrical release on November 1 and a streaming release on November 22. This timing positions it squarely in the middle of fall, when major film awards contenders are usually released.

The film’s subject matter is also typically awards-friendly. Set during World War II, “Blitz” takes place in London during the German bombing campaign against Great Britain. The cast is led by four-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan, who is due for a project that could finally earn her the trophy.

McQueen’s history with the Oscars has been mixed. His earlier works, “Hunger” (2008) and “Shame” (2011), were overlooked, as was “Widows” (2018). However, he directed “12 Years a Slave” (2013), which won Best Picture. All of his films have received critical acclaim, so he remains a potential awards threat whenever he releases a new film.

A win for McQueen would be unprecedented. To date, only six Black filmmakers have ever been nominated for Best Director: John Singleton (“Boyz n the Hood”), Lee Daniels (“Precious”), McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”), Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), and Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”). None have ever been nominated twice, so McQueen would break new ground with a second nomination. Moreover, none have won Best Director, despite McQueen and Jenkins directing Best Picture winners.

On paper, McQueen has all the elements required to be the Best Director front-runner this year: a prestigious studio, historically important subject matter, and overall prestige. However, the film itself will be the key to tying it all together as a serious awards contender. Time will tell if “Blitz” lives up to its Oscar buzz once it’s released.

Source: Gold Derby